Life after Collin Klein has started.
Kansas State is a week into its spring drills and the competition is on as to who will be the starting quarterback … the man behind center who follows Mr. Klein, a 2012 Heisman Trophy finalist.
“We hope it will be a competitive situation, but that remains to be seen,” said KSU coach Bill Snyder. “We’d like it to be competitive in such a way that it would help each other get better, but that’s no different than any other position on the team.”
The leading two quarterback candidates are returnee Daniel Sams, and newcomer Jake Waters. Today we feature Sams. Yesterday our focus was on Waters.
SAMS … NOT SHORT ON CONFIDENCE:
Overall, Daniel Sams says, “I’m prepared; I’m ready.”
Describing his arm on a scale of 10, he says, “I’d say an eight … to be humble.”
Sams, a 6-foot-2, 204-pound sophomore out of Slidell, La., served as Klein’s backup last year and made the most of his opportunities netting 235 rushing yards, primarily, in mop-up duty.
He did see a quarter-plus of action when the game was on the line against Oklahoma State when Klein went down with an injury. Sams completed 5-of-6 passes for 45 yards and rushed seven times for 20 yards against the Cowboys.
“That was a tough game because you were concerned about him (Klein), but excited about getting in the game and trying to make plays,” said Sams. “It felt different after they scored and it was a close game and we weren’t just milking the clock. We needed points on the board and I was ready to take that on.”
While working behind Klein on the field, Sams also said, “He was a good example of how you have to work in the classroom. That’s where it all starts. The leadership thing is not about just what you do on the field.”
And, Klein was a good example in the importance of overall work-ethic.
“I came in not having a work-ethic. In high school I never watched film. I worked out a little and ran a little, but I was not a weight room leader,” he said. “I basically did what I wanted.”
Now he says, “I’m excited about getting in there and getting the team to rally around me.”
And, Klein was a good example in attitude.
“I came in pretty high on myself,” Sams said of his freshman year. Laughing, he added, “I came in thinking I would eventually knock him (Klein) out, but it was nothing like that. At times it was a humbling experience, but in the end I couldn’t have been in a better position than playing behind him.”
Once on the field, Sams said of his own game, “I’m best outside the pocket on the move. I can run it, or I can throw it down field. Nobody has seen me make plays with my arm yet because all I did was come in and milk the clock, but I can do things with my arm.”
Overall, co-offensive coordinator Dana Dimel said of Sams, “He has some talent, but he needs to find some consistency. That light has to go on, or we will have to go on.”